Charlotte Mason Preschool Lessons
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A Charlotte Mason preschool is a bit different from the traditional preschool education that most of us are used to. Preschool lessons also vary between each child and are dependent on student readiness.
Do you have little ones who are eager to get started with school? When you’re a beginner homeschooler, everything can seem a bit chaotic. I’ll share a bit of how we implement preschool lessons in our homeschool.
New to Charlotte Mason education? Learn more about the different methods of homeschool here.
Charlotte Mason Homeschool for preschool
Homeschooling preschoolers is not compulsory. But I definitely understand how much little ones want to imitate their older siblings with their lessons.
Or maybe you have a preschooler who is “ready”. In any case, my recommendation is to start slow. And when in doubt, do less.
Meaning, doing too much too soon is more dangerous than doing too little at this age.
And if you have time for nothing else, read to your child!
But for those of you who want a little more for your preschoolers, stick around! I’m sharing more about how we homeschool our preschoolers, the Charlotte Mason way.
So, what should we do with our little ones during these early years?
Remember that different children learn at different rates. And these are only suggestions of things we have done in our home. Don’t feel as though they are a requirement.
But when your child is ready, here are a few examples:
- read aloud picture books and stories of your choice
- learn letter names & sounds they make
- put together letters and make short words
- learn new words through regular reading to the child (short form about 10-15 minutes)
- identifying shapes
- counting songs
- simple addition using real life objects and situations
- number games (dominoes, number lotto)
- board games with dice or counting places
- time telling (clock with movable hands)
Real life learning
And then there are the real life experiences for around the home and farm chores.
- Helping mom with household chores
- Cleaning windows and smudges on the wall
- Picking up their toys
- Making beds
- Cleaning the dinner table
- Sweeping the floor
- Gathering eggs
- Feeding and watering the animals
- Helping in the garden
- Helping with laundry
I take our clothes out to hang on the clothesline majority of the time now – weather permitting. Then I have my toddlers “help” and with plans to work on development, they are getting a mini clothesline to hang low for their reach.
They also help mom fold and put laundry away. The older children put their laundry away on their own now.
The important thing to know about learning is that it is based off of the readiness of each individual child and their development, so it will vary with each child. I provide them with tools and show them how to work on something, then I allow them time to learn.
Let them once get in touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life.” – Charlotte Mason(Source)
Children should spend as much out of doors time as possible. Especially at this young age. You can incorporate nature study lessons into your day too.
Some really great books to use as a fun resource are the One Small Square series and the Crinkleroot books. I’ll link a few options below.
What children learn from outdoor time:
- greater appreciation of nature and its Creator
- refined motor skills
- better understanding of animal and plant life
- observation skills
“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life” – Charlotte Mason
And by “discipline” Charlotte meant the importance of cultivating good habits in our children.
Charlotte Mason encouraged mothers to begin to form good habits from a young age. Forming good habits early on is so important! And if we don’t do this, the bad habits will take over.
“ ‘Sow a habit, reap a character.’ But we must go a step further back, we must sow the idea or notion which makes the act worth while.” – Charlotte Mason
How do we form good habits in young children? First, we must model the behavior ourselves.
And I really like this resource from Simply Charlotte Mason.
Art, Picture, and Music Study
It would be hard to estimate the refining, elevating influence of one or two well-chosen works of art, in however cheap a reproduction.” – Charlotte Mason
We love art & music study in our home. It helps to create an environment of learning.
For young children, it does not mean formal lessons. We really enjoy these I Spy art books.
In addition to creating artwork of their own, handicrafts can be introduced based on readiness of child.
Here are a few suggestions for preschool ages:
- cutting & pasting
- bead art or jewelry making with beads
- lacing cards
- melted crayon ornaments
- create nature wreath
- pinecone bird feeders
- flower pressing
Preschool Homeschool Resources
A few of our favorite preschool resources as mentioned in the post.
Crinkleroot's Nature Almanac
Provides an easy-to-read, comprehensive reference book about wild animals and their natural surroundings, complete with full-color illustrations, simple activities, hidden puzzles, and more.
Crinkleroot's Book of Animal Tracking
Explains how to find and understand the signs made by animals around water, in the woods, and in the snow.
Crinkleroot's 25 Birds Every Child Should Know
Give your child a head start in recognizing the birds he or she will most often be exposed to in stories and poems and textbooks and films with this helpful master list.
One Small Square: Backyard
An exciting journey of science discovery is as near as your own backyard. Just one small square is alive with creepers and crawlers, lifters and leapers, singers, buzzers, climbers, builders, and recyclers. Backyard invites children ages 7 and up to become nature lovers by looking, listening, touching, and smelling the world from the ground up! From the unique One Small Square series of science acitivity books.
One Small Square: Woods
The woods are full of puzzles to be solved, clues to be found. Inspired by this book's hints and fun-filled experiments and activities, and using only simple equipment, young readers unlock the closely guarded secrets of the woodsfrom the strange meetings of lazy butterflies, to the miraculous "walking" of a twig, to the riddle of why the leaves turn color and fall. One small square at a time, these "detectives" plunge deeper and deeper into ancient mysteries without ever getting lost.
Numbers in Art (I Spy S)
This counting book has a different fine art painting for each number between one and 20. In each painting there is a number for objects or animals for the reader to identify and count. Paintings from most major galleries and artists such as Lowry, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso are included.
I Spy: An Alphabet in Art (Mulberry Paperback Book)
Interact with twenty-six of the world's greatest paintings in this educational, entertaining, and beautiful pairing of a classic game with timeless art.
Laying Down the Rails for Children: A Habit-training Companion; Books 1 and 2
principles of good habits with a practical how-to guide and action plan to use with your children. It is filled with classic stories and Bible passages, beautiful poems, life activities, inspiring quotations- living ideas that will nestle into your children's minds and motivate them toward the habits of good character.
Mother Culture ®: For a Happy Homeschool
Mother Culture ® is a refreshing wellspring. It offers tried-n-true ideas to help you:
chase away the burn-out blues,
develop the artist within you,
keep growing in the Lord,
while creating the happy home your heart desires.
This friendly book is brimming with encouragement.
Every chapter is beautifully illustrated.
A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning
A Charlotte Mason Companion offers you tools to create an extraordinary learning experience. At the turn of every page, you will meet a practical idea and the inspiration to carry it out.
Some Chapters Include:
- How to select and use living books
- Admiration for heroes in history
- Poetry that even boys can stomach
- Art and music appreciation for all ages
- Nature study in the great outdoors
- The atmosphere of home
- Good habits make for happy children...and parents
- Keeping up enthusiasm for lessons and for life
Auihiay Flower Press Kit, 6 x 8 inch 5 Layers Leaf Press Set for DIY Art Handcraft Outdoor Play Learning Tool (Brown)
Full Flower Press Kit: Come with all tools needed on flower pressing like press plate, lining paper, absorbent paper, sponge, tweezers, etc.
Melissa & Doug Multi-Craft Weaving Loom
he Melissa & Doug Wooden Multi-Craft Weaving Loom includes everything kids need, including adjustable wooden loom, oversize wooden needle, craft materials, illustrated design booklet, and 91 yards of rainbow yarn.
Good for you for parting with the tv. I know how big of a thing that is! We have always sort of done the “Montessori” thing but not by name. Just because it made it easier for the children to help out and we always figured they should be part of the household life 🙂 I grew up without any chores and didn’t learn to help around the house until I was married.
I just found your blog a week ago and oh boy does this post speak to me! I have 3 year old twins and a 2 year old and they love their TV time, and as much as we do all kinds of other things, they just want to sit and watch tv when given the chance. I’ve been working on ideas to do more inside and outside the house, but getting a herd of toddlers to focus is a bit challenging. I don’t think I have any suggestions, I really appreciate your list, but good luck and godspeed on your endeavors!
It really is a challenge. 🙂 Thank you for the kind words. Good luck you as well!